Cel­e­brat­ing In­dian tra­di­tions vox­trot

The Asian Age - - Dance+ - Sandip Sopar­rkar

In a few weeks, In­dia will wit­ness an ex­tra­or­di­nary three-day cel­e­bra­tion of dance and the­atre. From April 30 to May 2, the cap­i­tal of our coun­try will have dancers from all over the world come to­gether to see charisma ex­plode at the Ka­mani Au­di­to­rium. Th­ese three days will see one of In­dia’s most sought af­ter In­dian classical dance in­sti­tutes, the Cen­tre for In­dian Classical Dances (CICD), cel­e­brate 40 glo­ri­ous years.

The CICD is among the ear­li­est cul­tural in­sti­tu­tions es­tab­lished in Delhi by Dr Sonal Mans­ingh. At the cen­tre, In­dian tra­di­tions and val­ues are be­ing in­stilled since 1977 through teach­ing and train­ing in In­dian dance, par­tic­u­larly Bharatanatyam and Odissi. Stu­dents at CICD learn not just classical dances but also mu­sic, yoga, the San­skrit lan­guage and more im­por­tantly, the in­trin­sic val­ues of In­dia’s cul­tural her­itage. The cal­en­dar of events of 40 years il­lus­trates the scope and va­ri­ety of the cen­tre’s ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing cul­tural fes­ti­vals, sem­i­nars, work­shops and a stag­ger­ing range of chore­ogra­phies. The teach­ing method­ol­ogy is based on the time­honoured tra­di­tion of guru-shishya param­para, all of it spear­headed by Dr Mans­ingh, who I also call as my danc­ing mother.

I know you all al­ready know a lot about Dr Mans­ingh but to­day I would like to say a few words about my danc­ing mother. She is an iconic cul­tural per­son­al­ity, an ac­knowl­edged master of cul­tural in­ter­pre­ta­tions and an ex­em­plary teacher. Hav­ing trained in classical dance styles of Bharatanatyam, Odissi and in classical mu­sic tra­di­tions of North In­dia, South In­dia and also in tra­di­tional mu­sic of Odisha, she has car­ried the mes­sage of In­dian cul­ture to 90 coun­tries so far. She is the re­cip­i­ent of high civil­ian hon­ours Padma Vib­hushan in 2003, Padma Bhushan in 1992 and many oth­ers hon­ours. She is also one of the “Navratanas” nom­i­nated by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi for the Swacch Bharat mis­sion.

I can go on and on about her, about who Dr Mans­ingh is as a per­son and what all she teaches ev­ery­one, ev­ery hu­man be­ing she touches with her Mi­das touch. But now let me tell you about her Kala Ya­tra.

Kala Ya­tra is a three-day long cel­e­bra­tion of In­dian art tra­di­tions. The open­ing cer­e­mony is planned in a grand man­ner with the bless­ing of Shri Ka­makhya Kalapeeth on April 30, 2017. The day will see the re­lease of the book Sonal Mans­ingh — A Life like None Other au­thored by Su­jata Prasad. The book, like the name sug­gests, is about the life of one of the most pre­cious dancers of our na­tion. Af­ter the book re­lease there will be a unique pre­sen­ta­tion of “Shiva–Ma­hat­may” — a dance pro­duc­tion on episodes from ShivaPu­rana. I asked Dr Mans­ingh how she feels about CICD com­plet­ing 40 splen­did years. It has been, an emo­tion­ally charged Dr Mans­ingh said, “com­pletely ful­fill­ing and glo­ri­ous. It is ful­fill­ing be­cause the beat and the melody of dis­ci­plined yet creative en­er­gies have never ceased to re­ver­ber­ate in this noble space. I call it glo­ri­ous be­cause in­nu­mer­able boys and girls, young and older men and women have im­bibed the es­sen­tial val­ues, dis­ci­plines and beauty in their lives through the un­com­pro­mis­ing train­ing given here. They are now en­gaged in per­form­ing, teach­ing and spread­ing the mes­sage wher­ever they go.” To­day, I am writ­ing this ar­ti­cle to con­grat­u­late all the stu­dents of CICD and to wish my danc­ing mother Dr Mans­ingh many more glo­ri­ous years as a dancer, per­former, guru, chore­og­ra­pher, so­cial ac­tivist, re­searcher, men­tor, guide, mo­ti­va­tional speaker and more. So that she can spread her aura of knowl­edge even more and make us learn lessons of a life­time. Sandip Sopar­rkar is a well known Ball­room dancer and a Bol­ly­wood chore­og­ra­pher who has been hon­oured with Na­tional Achieve­ment and Na­tional Ex­cel­lence Award by the Govt of In­dia. He can be con­tacted on sandip­sopar­rkar06@gmail.com.

A three-day cel­e­bra­tion of In­dian art tra­di­tions, Ya­tra festival, will be­gin with Shri Ka­makhya Kalapeeth’s bless­ings on April 30, 2017. Kala

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